Frequently Asked Questions

What is historic preservation and why should I care about it?

Historic preservation often makes headlines and even appears on your television screen. Unfortunately, the image is sometimes historic downtown buildings engulfed by flames or bulldozers rolling over homes built almost a century ago.

The fires that destroyed the McClung Warehouses downtown and the childhood home of Cormac McCarthy in South Knoxville show how quickly our history can disappear, taking along with it the opportunity for new investment and reuse. These incidents bring preservation to the forefront and galvanize support for preserving the places that make our community unique, the places that make it feel like home.

But preservation isn’t just about saving downtown buildings and sprawling mansions. It is about preserving neighborhoods, the places most of us call home. This type of preservation is going on every day in our community, and its pace is quickening. It is transforming old neighborhoods, turning downtown into a vibrant gathering place again, and contributing to everyone in our community by improving our local tax base. Preservation is also “green,” in fact, it’s the ultimate recycling project. Nothing is more sustainable than preserving a building and its embodied energy for future use.

Preservation happens one place at a time, and Knox Heritage is helping lead the way by saving some of the most endangered places. We are breathing new life into timeworn beauties that will welcome new owners and help turn around neighborhoods where generations created their own family history.